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Committee and Parent postions?

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Bayou Beaver,


I can see where you're coming from and a parents meeting is a fine thing to have. However, you may want to consider whether presenting these (up to now) uninvolved parents with a huge long list of jobs that need filling is going to net you the results you want. You may scare them off!


Have you thought about talking up a couple of upcoming activities and listing specific tasks that you need to have covered in order to make those activities happen? Often people will agree to help with Task #1 when they aren't willing to take on some big position. Tap that spirit if you can.


And don't forget FUN as a selling point for adults too, not just boys. Parents who volunteer and always gripe about things are not fun to be with and turn other would-be volunteers off, so make sure to maintain a cheerful outlook in your presentation - which, I know, can be tough to do when you're one of the five families that always end up doing everything.

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Take your list and hide it under your hat! Do not stand up infront of that room and read it. That's like standing in the center of a singles bar and asking who wants to go home with you. Chances are you won't like what comes next.


Hold the meeting, let them know that help is needed. Let them know who is doing all the work. Let them know that you will be meeting with them one on one to find where they best fit.


Then follow up, meet with some one and ask them to do one job or task for you. Most will work with you to find just the right place for them. Only then take out the list and fill in their name.


Other wise, some one will stand up and lay claim to a position he is 100% unwilling to follow up on while the best candidate sits there looking at his shoes thinking you don't mean him/her.


How do I know this? I ended up with a drunk volunteering to be transportation coordinater when the number one task for that position was making sure that he never came near the boys with a car. I couldn't replace him with our stating why, and I couldn't use him so I ended up doing the task myself.


Now I "hire" one person at a time. Face to face.

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A suggestion that was made at last month's roundtable was that if we have a monthly newsletter, post a "Help Wanted" ad. Focus on one or two positions that you need sooner than others. We tried this and have already had someone step up to coordinate our Day Camp and another to head up our Pack Family Campout this summer. Getting these are huge, since we are still are pretty new and small pack.


Some of our Positions are:


Cubmaster (filled)

Assistant CM (filled)

Committee Chair (filled)

Treasurer (filled)

Secretary (filled)

Webmaster/Publicity (Filled)

Advancement Chair (CC and Treasurer share this duty, but would like to have this filled)

Membership and Registration (open)

Recruiter (open)

Popcorn Kernal for 2008 (open)

Tiger DL (filled, but looking for new Tiger Leaders for new Tigers)

Wolf DL (filled)

Asst. Wolf DL (open)

Bear DL (filled)

Asst. Bear DL (open, but Asst. CM helps out here)

Webelos DL (filled, but he is stepping down. We need a new one)

Asst. DL (open)

B&G Chair 2009 (open)

Pinewood 2009 (open)

Day Camp Coordinator (Filled)

Cub Scout Resident Camp Coordinator (filled)

Pack Family Campout Coordinator (filled)


It doesn't look so bad, but a lot of those filled positions are basically the same four folks doing a lot of that. We have a new DE on board with District that says will be helping us "learn" how to recruit more volunteers. We'll see how that goes.

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Lisabob- that is some good advice but we can't get parents to come to the Parent/Leaders/Committee meetings and all these positions we are asking for are for next year. I do think that handing out a list will scare them but I also want to explain to them why we need new leaders..... To many free rides and it is not fun for the active leaders anymore, it's more like work......

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Explaining that you need help is great. What you really need to do is *sell* these people on the incredible opportunity they have to be involved in their son's life for what will be only a short time. These are precious years that are going to fly away from them with a blink of an eye.


This has worked for us in the past:


Adding machine tape Time Line demonstration for Join Scouting Night


You need an 8-10 foot long piece of adding machine or calculator tape.


Mark off the tape in ten year increments with 0 at the left end and 100 at the right. Use large numbers so parents can see from the audience. Roll the tape back up, so that the 100 is in the center.


For the presentation you will need two helpers to hold the tape in front of you so you can point at various points on the tape.


Start out saying:


With the current advances in medical technology its very likely that your son will live about 100 years. (Have your helpers unroll the tape in front of you, so the whole time line is visible.) "Here's a time line of his life."


If you're 35 now, statistically, you'll likely live until you're 75 or so, when your son will be about 50." (Rip the tape off at the 1/2 way point and hand the end to your helper. Let the other half fall to the floor -- very important dramatic effect). "This represents the years you and your son will

have together in his lifetime."


"And he's probably about 6 or 7 now." (Rip of the tape slightly below 10 and let that piece fall to the floor. Hand the end to your helper). So here's the time you have left together.


How old do you suppose your son will be when he goes away to college (or you decide its time for him to be out on his own)? 18 - 20? (Rip off the tape someplace in this vicinity. Let that chunk fall to the floor. Hand the end to your helper). This is the amount of time you have left with him at home.


When he's about 13 - middle school age - his friends start to become a much bigger, maybe the major, influence in his life." (If you can - assuming you have teenager - make a comment about how you know this from experience.) (Rip off the tape someplace in this vicinity. Let that chunk fall to the floor. Hand the end to your helper).


(Take the very short piece of tape from your helpers and hold in it front of you, and thank your helpers.) "This is the time you have left to be the major shaping force in your son's life. You can show him how important he is to you by becoming involved in Scouting with him. Cub Scouts is a remarkable opportunity for you and your son to share a great variety of fun, exciting

and positive experiences. Experiences that give you that opportunity to help him grow into an adult that you'll be proud to point to and say: 'That's my son - he's a good person.'"


At this point I'd go on and say that you have a long list of jobs that need to be filled, but that you don't want anyone to volunteer for a particular job tonight. Explain that you want to fit the jobs to the best people, so you and the other leaders will be talking to parents over the next two weeks to fill the open jobs.


By this point, you should have done your brainstorming and created 'target lists' of people who you think would be good for individual positions. Assign particular leaders to talk to particular people. Make sure they have adult applications, and have the recruits fill them during the recruiting conversation, if possible.


O.k. I'm going to stop now, 'cause this is long, but I'll be back with another message with more info.


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O.K. - part 2


Have you heard of the National Parent Initiative?


This is an effort to educate and involve parents in Scouting.

They have a web site: www.scoutparents.org


You will find resources there that you can use to educate parents about why being involved in Scouting is important.


They have brochures, etc. that you can download. You can also order some of this material.


You might also want to see if you DE can get you some copies of

"Cub Scouting . . . Time Well Spent" BIN # 02-342.



You asked about jobs parents can do to contribute. In your Cub Scout Leader Book there is a chapter on Family Involvement (ch 5). You will find info on how to involve parents in the pack, and a list of "Ways parents can help Cub Scout Packs"


Many of these are small jobs. Small jobs are the best way to start parents volunteering. Many people who started out coordinating a field trip or bring snacks end up as committee chairs or den leaders.


Finally, we tell all our recruits up front that their application could be rejected. This is from our Pack Handbook:


Volunteer Standards


Pack 512 appreciates all of those who want to volunteer. Unfortunately we cannot accept everyone who applies. All volunteers must complete the Boy Scouts of America Volunteer Application prior to serving as a volunteer.


Den Leaders and other volunteers who work directly with the scouts must complete both the BSA application and Pack 512s Application and Background Check. Pack 512s application authorizes the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to provide extended criminal background information.


The Boys Scouts of America and Pack 512 have high standards that determine who is eligible for leadership. The goal of these standards is ensure the safety of the Scouts. As parents, we want you to be confident that adults who are working with your sons are providing a safe and well-run program. To make sure this is the case, all registered leaders attend Cub Scout Leader Training and Youth Protection Training.


Once Pack 512 has received the application, Pack 512s Chartered Organization Representative will perform background and reference checks. Based on this information, the application is approved or denied.


Applicants may be turned down or removed from a volunteer position based on any of the following reasons:


1.Information contained in their Criminal Background report.

a.Any Crime Listed as a Felony or Gross Misdemeanor.

b.Any Crime prohibiting the applicant to work in childcare, health care or volunteer position within the Anoka Hennepin School District.

2.Failure to meet the qualification standards of the Boy Scouts of America, the Northern Star Council, or Cub Scout Pack 512.

3.Bad chemistry of the applicant with the pack. (One who cannot get along with others.)

4.Being a poor team player. (One who prevents others from being effective.)

5.Inability to serve in their position effectively.

6.Failure to complete leader training within one year of registration.


Those who cannot serve as a leader or work directly with the Scouts, may still qualify for other positions within the pack. All applications will be handled in the strictest of confidence.


This way we avoid sticky situations such as the one wingnut described.

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Last one. sorry. Can you tell this is a passion of mine?


I can't emphasize enough how you have to do a sales job for this. Parents have changed. People don't automatically volunteer. It is harder and harder to do this (believe me, 18 years of experience informs my post).


If you (or another leader) stands up and moans and talks about how hard it is to do this with so few people, and how the pack is going to die if we don't get enough volunteers, you're just going to drive them to another pack.


Demonstrate how much fun you have. Talk about the skills you've learned that translate to your job. Talk about the fantastic opportunity you've had to spend time with your son. You have to emphasize the WIIFM (What's in it for me) factor. Talk about how they are missing out on valuable experiences by avoiding helping.


Choose some one to be your spokesperson who is enthusiastic about Scouting, loves the kids and the program, and can really communicate what the pack needs.


Good luck - and come back and tell us how things go.

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In general, the only way to fill a lot of positions is to personally recruit. My experience is you risk liability from someone who got hurt falling out of their chair while sleeping as you explain the positions on the list and the need for help.


I found people have a hard time saying no when you are looking at them strait in the eyes while asking for their help. Make sure while you beg that you explain clearly that their job won't require much of their time, but it will help out their sons program a lot.


If you are not good at personal recruiting, then find someone who is and work together like a salesman. But I believe personal to person recruting is your fastest method to filling a lot of slots.



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I agree with Barry, and so does the BSA!


BSA has this helpful brochure - "Selecting Cub Scout Leadership" - available at your local Council offices. It gives you a step-by-step plan on how to select and recruit leaders for your Pack. What it basically states is to make a list of 2 or 3 people who you feel would be a good fit for, and do a good job at, a SPECIFIC position. Start at the top of your list and VISIT each person at their home. Give them all of the information on the position, including a time frame for how long they would be committing to do it, and try your best to sell them on accepting the position. If them accept it GREAT! If not, you go to #2 on your list and repeat until you have the position filled. You do this with EACH posisiton INDIVIDUALLY.


Yep, this is a bit more work than simply holding up a list at a Pack meeting and having a "cattle call". But, in the end you get the best person for the job and leaders YOU want for your Pack.


BTW - about your list -


There is no such position as "Den Leader Coach".


Never heard of a "Pack Meeting Coordinator". The position is Cubmaster.


You should have Assistant Den Leaders at each level (except Tiger, not needed with shared leadership amoung Tiger Teams).


Your "Outdoor Chair" should be BALOO trained. Ideally you should have more than 1 BALOO trained leader (2-4 is good). This prevents overnights getting canceled when the BALOO person can't attend and spreads the work around.



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My only question is that I understand the conventional wisdom that you should approch one or two candidates one on one but how do you know who would be a good candidate. As a cubmaster I am usually so busy at the meetings with the kids I am lucky to know the first names of the parants let alone who would make a good treasurer or Assistant cubmaster. Our pack is going down hill fast because of a lack of leaders there are only 2 to 3 people running everything and we are to busy trying to keep everything going to be chatting up the parents.

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The Den Leaders probably have a better feel for who the parents are and which ones might seem more receptive to helping out. I am new in my role, so I haven't had to do much recruiting, but I am starting to look for next year. Most of our leadership is from the Bears down to Tigers (parents), so we have a good base. Talk it over with your current leaders to see who they think will be receptive to the idea of expanding their commitment. Best of Luck to all Packs and Troops with their leadership needs.


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How to know who might be a good candidate? Start small and see how they do. Ask a new parent to arrive 10 minutes early and help you set up the chairs. Or, next time you're in town could you pick up xxx at the Scout Shop for me. Or, would you please call and get the operating hours and ticket prices for our next pack outing. You'll know soon enough who are the good candidates.

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